Tag: game previews

Detroit Red Wings v San Jose Sharks - Game Five

Red Wings face elimination once again vs. the Sharks in Game 6


The San Jose Sharks face three scenarios going into tonight’s Game 6 against the Red Wings in Detroit:

1. They can win tonight and rest until Sunday’s Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks.
2. They can win a stressful Game 7 on Thursday, robbing them of two extra nights of rest.
3. They can lose both games and become just the fourth team in NHL history to lose a series after building a 3-0 lead, undeniably etching them in history as some of the biggest “chokers” the sport has ever seen.

The Canucks avoided another near-collapse by finishing off the Nashville Predators last night, but the Sharks might face even more pressure in this Game 6. The Red Wings managed to win Game 5 thanks to frantic (yet borderline inevitable?) comeback from a 3-1 third period deficit, so the choking calls are already building. It’s hard not to wonder if the Sharks would be a little tight in a Game 7 considering the collective psyche of their team and fans.

San Jose @ Detroit (Versus) – 8 p.m. ET; Sharks lead series 3-2

Both teams will be without key contributors as Ryane Clowe didn’t make the trip to Detroit and Johan Franzen won’t play because of an ankle injury. Mike Modano will suit up in Franzen’s place for what might be the future Hall of Famer’s final game.

All five games in this series were decided by one goal, so it’ll be interesting to see if we’re in for another close contest.

Interestingly enough, Stats Inc. points out that the Sharks hope to avoid repeating history from 2002 while the Red Wings are hoping to repeat it. That playoff year marked the last time the Sharks gave up a 3-2 series lead and the most recent instance in which Detroit came back from that exact deficit. Both teams experienced those moments against the Colorado Avalanche, by the way.

While Sharks fans might cringe at a possible Game 7 while Red Wings fans are hoping for at least one more game, the rest of the hockey world would probably be delighted to see two more games between these teams.

There won’t be any NHL playoff hockey until Saturday, anyway, so why not?

Video: Jeremy Roenick hopes Patrick Marleau makes him eat his words

San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes

For hockey fans without a horse in the race, each Detroit Red Wings win against the San Jose Sharks has been a little gift. Not only do those Red Wings wins make for more playoff games, it extends a series that features some of the most talented players in the NHL. The hockey hasn’t always been perfect, but the pace of these games have been outstanding.

Of course, there’s another reason they’ve been great theater: they provide more opportunities for moments of great drama. Like, say, Jeremy Roenick describing Patrick Marleau’s performance as “gutless,” for instance.

Roenick and Keith Jones provided some interesting insight regarding tonight’s upcoming Game 6 between the Red Wings and Sharks, but many will wonder if Roenick has anything else to say about Marleau. Roenick delivered in that regard, saying that he hopes Marleau makes him eat “every one of his words” regarding the former Sharks captain’s performance in the playoffs.

Check out the video for the entirety of that blurb as well as more analysis from Jones and Roenick.

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Predators hope to push Canucks to a Game 7 by winning tonight

Mason Raymond Pekka Rinne

While the two remaining Eastern Conference teams are receiving a borderline excessive amount of rest, the Western Conference semifinals continue. The Detroit Red Wings fought off elimination once again last night and the Nashville Predators hope to do the same in Game 6.

Vancouver @ Nashville (Versus) – 8 p.m. ET; Canucks lead series 3-2

The No. 1 story going into this game is the continued struggles of the Sedin twins, even if Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault deflected blame from their Game 5 performances. Yet amid all that negative attention, the Predators could use more contributions from some of their own highest scorers. Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn were among the most dangerous forwards for Nashville during the regular season, but neither player registered a point in this series so far.

After four defense-first games, Saturday’s contest was surprisingly energetic, messy and fun. Even though Nashville won, you have to wonder if they can pull off another win at that pace. They might want to do just that in front of their own fans, but their best chance of earning their first second round home victory probably revolves around mucking it up.

The Canucks cannot ask for much more from Ryan Kesler, who’s been an absolute force in this series. Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne have been brilliant for most of the five games, but one bad night could put Luongo’s team in another must-win situation while an off-game for Rinne could bring elimination.

Joel Ward was outstanding in Game 5, but is he for real? We’ll find out a lot more about Ward, his team and his opponents in tonight’s game. Stay tuned.

Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen might help Red Wings fight off elimination after all

Pavel Datsyuk,  Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen

There were quite a few people who expected the second round of the 2011 playoffs to be over by the end of this weekend. The Philadelphia Flyers continued their implosion on Friday, but the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators stayed alive. Detroit faces the prospect of elimination once again in Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks tonight. Let’s take a look at the contest.

Detroit @ San Jose (Versus) – 8 p.m. ET; Sharks lead series 3-1

There were rumors that Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen might miss Game 5, but the Red Wings have denied those murmurs. Their lack of a morning skate added fuel to the confusion yet it seems like both players will skate for Detroit. We’ll let you know if that verdict changes once again, though.

Even if those two players manage to play tonight, it’s tough to shake the feeling that the Red Wings are a little worn down. They have the experience, skill and guile to come back from this deficit, but do they have the energy to complete this turnaround against a big, talented Sharks team?

Despite all the firepower, depth players have made a big difference in this series so far. Then again, it’s pretty tough to fathom Joe Pavelski qualifying as a “depth” player, but it shows just how deep the Sharks’ forward group really is right now.

The Red Wings earned four wins in their last five Game 5 contests, while the Sharks are 9-4 in Game 5 contests at home in their franchise history, according to the Associated Press.

Will history repeat itself with another five-game series win for San Jose or will another Western semifinals series go to at least six games? We’ll find out tonight.

Video: Hockey Central breaks down Detroit-San Jose Game 5

Pavel Datsyuk, Dany Heatley

It shouldn’t have been surprising that the Detroit Red Wings avoided being swept at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

After all, this is the Detroit Red Wings we are talking about. The Red Wings haven’t lost a series in four games since the New Jersey Devils shocked them (and kinda sorta ruined hockey for a little while) in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals. Mere mortal teams must worry about being swept, not the Red Wings. It didn’t hurt that their previous three losses were close on the scoreboard, even if San Jose often carried the play from a shots/scoring chances perspective.

The fact that they nearly coughed up a 3-0 lead was, however, pretty startling. Maybe Detroit stepped off the gas pedal a bit, but the Sharks showed that they aren’t going to make it easy for the Red Wings either.

Last year, the Red Wings earned a much more dominant Game 4 win before falling to San Jose in Game 5. Can they avoid that fate or will San Jose get to rest up and watch the Vancouver Canucks duke it out with the Nashville Predators? The Versus gang breaks down Game 5 of Detroit-San Jose in the video clip below.

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